Our verse for today comes from Isaiah 9:6, ” For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. “
Several years ago, I went to a football game and experienced something very unusual. At the stadium, a new video screen had been installed that was very impressive, if only for its size. But there was more to this screen to impress than just its massive square footage. Even before the game started, as I watched the players warm up, I was stunned by what I saw on the giant monitor. Sitting there in my seat, watching the action live with my own eyes, the images on the projection were actually more clear and brilliant than what I saw when I looked directly at the players themselves on the field. Sure, I was there and watching the game in person. But on the screen, I could get the full effect in HD. Of course, these days we have all seen, probably in our own living rooms, how crystal clear the picture is on High Density (HD) televisions. Details that had never before been detectable, some good and some less than flattering, are now visible for all to scrutinize. But where did these details, these textures and colors and flaws come from? Where were they in the black and white days? Or back when your tv was a massive piece of console furniture? Where were these detailed particulars, so minuscule in nature, that now make the image seem altogether life-like?
Obviously, they were there all along. Much like the deepest realities of Christmas. The story hasn’t changed. No new details have leaked out from inside or from unnamed sources. But unlike our old tube televisions, or even the projection screens, where getting closer didn’t improve the picture, getting closer to the story of Christ’s birth does make everything more real and meaningful. That’s why the more you read the gospel accounts, the more you contemplate the Virgin’s journey to Bethlehem, the more you listen to the messages from the angels, the clearer it all becomes. In a few months when the holidays are fully upon us, don’t spend the Christmas season viewing Jesus like a grainy image projected on a wall somewhere. Soak up every detail. Experience it all. See what has always been there in the Gift from God.
As we seek Him today, let the anticipation of Christmas, throughout the year, spur you to draw closer to the One who came in every detail.